April 2003 News

19 Dead, 45 Hurt In J&K Violence

25 April 2003
The Times of India

Srinagar: Seven security personnel, including an Army Major and a block president of the ruling People's Democratic Party, were among 19 people killed as militants stepped up attacks in Jammu and Kashmir since Thursday night. Forty-five people were reportedly injured in the attacks. The escalated violence saw the first suicide attack of the year in the state, where militants made an abortive bid to storm the sector headquarters of the BSF, ambush on an Army patrol and a blast inside a court in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, sources said. Suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants on Friday made an abortive bid to storm the sector headquarters of BSF in north Kashmir, triggering a gunbattle, which left three militants, two BSF personnel and a civilian dead. Three members of the suicide squad approached the sector headquarters at Bagh-Bandipora in Baramulla district from the rear side and hurled grenades and opened fire on the troops working in a garage, wounding two of them, a BSF spokesman said. The militant then moved towards the main gate and tried to enter forcefully. However, their attempt was foiled by an alert sentry, who engaged them in a gunfight and shot two of them dead. The third militant escaped, the spokesman said. Six BSF personnel were seriously injured in the encounter, out of which three succumbed to their injuries. The deceased have been identified as Ram Dev Singh, Shabir Ahmed and Mushtaq Ahmed. A civilian, Ghulam Mohammed Han, hailing from Madar village in Bandipore, also died in the incident. His mutilated body was recovered during the subsequent operation near the main gate. Prior to the suicide attack, militants ambushed an Army search party, killing a major and a jawan and wounding three other soldiers at Sumblar village, also in Bandipora, early on Friday, sources said. They said troops fired back but the militants fled away taking advantage of darkness. In another incident, three persons, including two women, were killed and 34 others injured, when suspected militants triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) inside a local court at Pattan, 27 km from here, on the Srinagar- Baramulla highway, this afternoon. The blast took place in the complex near the judicial magistrate's court, killing a woman Nasreen on the spot and wounding 34 others. Two of the injured identified as Fatima and Ghulam Rasool Bhat, succumbed to their wounds while being shifted to the hospital, sources said. In Jammu district, two Army jawans were killed and two others injured in two separate mine blasts at Makwal and Matal villages on Thursday evening. PDP block president Abdul Gani Malik and a surrendered militant Abdul Ahmad Malik were shot dead by militants inside their houses at Dangiwacha in Baramulla late on Thursday night, sources said. They said militants also killed three persons identified as Fayaz Ahmad Dar, Javid Ahmad and Farooq Ahmad at Larev and Drangbal in Pulwama district and Handwara in Kupwara district, respectively. The body of a civilian, Nazir Ahmad Chohan, was recovered by the police from Kellar in Pulwama district on Friday, sources said, adding the deceased had reportedly died in a crossfire between militants and security forces in the village. Residents of the village staged a protest demonstration on Friday, alleging that Chohan was picked up by the Army on Thursday night for questioning and killed during interrogation.


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